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The Best Coffee Roasters Around Ann Arbor

coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

If you’re not from Ann Arbor, you may be wondering how our hometown consistently lands on coffee rankings with famous coffee cities like Portland, San Francisco and Berkeley. In Apartment Guide’s 2019 ranking, The 10 Best Cities for Coffee Lovers in America, they measured the number of coffee businesses per resident, from the coffee shops to the roasteries themselves. And Ann Arbor ranks on the list with much larger cities all over the country.

If you’ve spent any time in Ann Arbor, you’ve probably sampled some of those roasteries and shops yourself. So we’re guessing you get it. Our city loves coffee.

Today, we’re rounding up the roasters that have put our region on the map. They’re roasting in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Milan, and many are selling online, too, so you can get your favorite coffees delivered right to your door.

 

Coffee Express Roasting Company

Based in Plymouth | Facebook  

Coffee Express was one of the first businesses outside of New York and San Francisco to focus on craft coffee. In 1982, founder Tom Isaia and his team started what is now an impressive roast-to-order system. They select the most distinctive Arabica coffees from around the world, then roast them fresh and distribute to food markets, specialty shops and coffee houses throughout the region. You can’t order online, but keep an eye out for Coffee Express while you’re shopping at your favorite grocery stores! 

 

Cross Street Coffee

Based in Ypsilanti | Facebook

Cross Street Coffee coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Cross Street Coffee

In early 2017, Ypsilanti’s Ugly Mug Coffee changed its name to Cross Street Coffee and upgraded their building, but they’re still roasting and serving the coffee we’ve come to love. Inside the full-service shop and roastery, you can get those coffees brewed fresh and you can purchase bags of beans to take home. Each one is filled with freshly roasted coffee made in small batches.

 

Cultivate Coffee & Tap House

Based in Ypsilanti | Facebook | Shop online

This coffee bar and tap house is a favorite in Ypsilanti for coffee, craft beer and community events. Built around the mantra, “craft, community and cause,” their motto matches their atmosphere. And their team is committed to investment in causes they believe in! Since 2015, they’ve volunteered thousands of hours, donated hundreds of pounds of produce and given more than $100,000 to local organizations. Stop in at Cultivate to meet the team and taste coffees roasted by their thoughtful and creative roaster, Jess Harmon.

 

Hyperion Coffee Co.

Based in Ypsilanti | Facebook | Shop online

Hyperion Coffee Co coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Dakota Smith via Hyperion Coffee Co.

Hyperion Coffee can be found freshly brewed in many of our favorite coffee shops in Ann Arbor and around the state, but they’re headquartered right here in Ypsi. When you visit the shop and roastery, you can taste this craft coffee right where it was roasted, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn everything from espresso extraction to cupping. Check out the educational Hyperion Labs here.

 

Mighty Good Coffee

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

Every Mighty Good coffee starts with beans from select farms, mills and co-ops. Then, the beans are roasted in small batches and packaged to preserve freshness. Whether you’re picking up a bag from the grocery store or stopping in at the coffee shops downtown, near campus, in Arbor Hills or inside The Jefferson Market, you’re guaranteed a fresh cup of coffee that is both sustainable and empowering (for you and for the community!). Check out the team’s philosophy, mission and story here.

 

Milan Coffee Works

Based in Milan | Facebook | Shop online

Milan Coffee Works has been an area favorite for years and is still considered one of the best local roasters in the region. At their headquarters—a charming, bright and welcoming coffee shop in Milan—they roast coffees in small batches from light roast to dark roast and everything in between. While you’re there, we also recommend tasting their homemade chai!

 

RoosRoast Coffee

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

RoosRoast coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of RoosRoast Coffee

RoosRoast is hands down one of the best coffee roasters in Michigan and word of this has reached as far as Portland, San Francisco and Manhattan. With their Loring Smart Roaster, they use 80% less energy than similar roasters and still create outstanding coffees (have you tasted Lobster Butter Love?) that have led to titles including the best coffee shop in Washtenaw County, the number one coffee shop in Southeast Michigan and more.

 

Stovetop Roasters

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

Stovetop coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Stovetop Roasters

From the charming doodles that adorn both their bags and their shops to their award-winning (and locally famous) baristas, you can always tell just how much love goes into the coffee and the atmosphere at Stovetop Roasters. Theirs is a team of friendly locals who don’t take themselves too seriously. And that results in some outstanding coffee. You can taste it for yourself in the Stovetop Coffee Roasters Lab & Roastery in Ann Arbor, or swing by Stovetop Coffee Roasters Cafe in Grand Rapids.

 

Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

Zingerman’s Coffee Co. is a wholesale roaster supplying cafes, restaurants and businesses all over the region, but they also offer their own coffees at the Zingerman’s Coffee Bar at Zingerman’s Southside Producers row. Located alongside Zingerman’s Creamery, Zingerman’s Bakehouse and Zingerman’s Candy Factory, you can get all the best in one convenient spot. And if you’re not in town, you can still shop Zingerman’s Coffee Company online through Zingerman’s Mail Order.

 

Need more coffee?  

Check out The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area to track down your new favorite.

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The 12 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend March 2019

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

March brings us our first signs of spring, school breaks and St. Patrick’s Day, so naturally, the month’s events offer kid-friendly happenings, festive races and spring-inspired festivities. That’s all in addition to some of our favorite annual events, like the Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show and Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Keep reading to find out what events are happening in our communities this month. Register where necessary, and get ready for a fun and festive March!

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

Arts + Culture

 

Fly Fishing Film Tour 2019 | Ann Arbor

March 1, 7 p.m. | Michigan Theater

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

The Fly Fishing Film Tour travels the country each year in an effort to promote the sport and support local fly shops. You can purchase $18 tickets online, but if you get yours at Schultz Outfitters in Ypsilanti, you get a $3 discount and a portion of that purchase helps support the conservation work that keeps fisheries intact, healthy and available for us all to enjoy. In past years, the tour has raised over $500,000!

 

Youth Art Month | Ann Arbor

March 1 – 30 | Downtown Ann Arbor

Youth Art Month is an annual celebration designed to emphasize the value of art education for our youth. It allows us all—locals, business owners, galleries—an opportunity to connect our community with our youth’s creativity and to illustrate the importance of fostering artistry and innovation. Organized by the Main Street Area Association, the celebration includes several food and drink deals, educational workshops and special events in topics including the art of pizza, coloring, painting and even sailboat making. For all the details on specials and events, click here.

 

2019 Michigan Playwrights Festival | Ann Arbor  

March 6 – 10, 8 – 11 p.m. | Theatre NOVA

Theatre NOVA in downtown Ann Arbor has over 75 years of experience selecting new plays, and the Michigan Playwrights Festival celebrates that history and awards local writers. After selecting the winning submissions, you can enjoy staged readings of the winning plays, and some of those go on to become full-length plays for future seasons. For updates on the stage events, follow the team on Facebook.

 

Saline Craft Show | Saline

March 16, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Saline Middle School

One of the top shows in Michigan, the Saline Craft Show is hosting two events in 2019. Don’t miss the first one this March! Benefitting both the craft show customers and the school community, students get the chance to take on leadership roles and show off their talents.

 

The Music of Harry Potter | Ann Arbor

March 16 – 17, various times | Michigan Theater

Michigan Theatre and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra are once again hosting a Harry Potter musical event this March! On Saturday evening, the show begins at 8 p.m. with a photo scavenger hunt, encounters with a live owl and cocktails from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Or, buy your tickets for Sunday’s family matinee to enjoy a 4 p.m. show and pre-concert activities beginning at 2:30 p.m. featuring an instrument petting zoo, a photo scavenger hunt, live Hedwig, an owl post writing station and more. You can get more details here.

 

Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show | Ann Arbor

March 16 – 17, various times | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

For the 29th year, this home and garden show is connecting guests with builders, suppliers, designers and tradespeople while inspiring all home improvement endeavors. This year’s event features 150 exhibitors in both interior and exterior work, so there’s plenty to learn over two days! Adult admission of $5 can be paid in cash at the door and children under 12 are admitted for free.

 

Ann Arbor Film Festival | Ann Arbor

March 26 – 31, various times | Michigan Theater

One of Ann Arbor’s most important annual events, the Ann Arbor Film Festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries highlighting all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction and performance-based works. Founded by George Manupelli in 1963, the festival is the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America. Follow the team on Facebook for updates on tickets and special events.

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

Old Time Maple Sugar Festival | Chelsea

March 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

Hosted by the Waterloo Natural History Association, the Old Time Maple Sugar Festival celebrates the coming of spring and the tapping of maple trees. The event begins with a short film on the process of making maple syrup, continues with a guided walk, and antique syrup making equipment will be on display from the Waterloo Farm Museum.

 

 

Sports

 

Shamrocks & Shenanigans | Ann Arbor  

March 10, 9:45 a.m. | Conor O’Neill’s

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Robert Bowden Photography via RF Events – Shamrocks & Shenanigans

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, the Shamrocks & Shenanigans 5K and Kids’ K winds through downtown Ann Arbor and benefits Save A Heart, an organization that raises funds to benefit patients and their families at the Michigan Congenital Heart Center at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. You can get registration info here.

 

Waterloo G & G | Chelsea

March 16, 10 a.m. | Waterloo State Recreation Area

This epic bike race offers three options: a rugged, two-loop 100K course, a powerful 50K course and a 10-mile, non-competitive ride. Registration benefits the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and includes a post-race party presented by Short’s Brewing Company. For more information, click here.

 

Probility Ann Arbor Marathon | Ann Arbor  

March 24, 7:30 a.m. | Michigan Stadium

Whether you’re walking your first 5K or running your tenth marathon, this Epic Races event offers something for everyone. Beginning just outside of The Big House, each course winds through downtown Ann Arbor and through the University of Michigan campus. The longer races also traverse stretches of the Huron River, Gallup Park and Nichols Arboretum before returning to downtown. Get all the details and choose your distance here.

 

 

Food + Drink

 

Pie & Mash Pop-Up Shop | Dexter

March 3 – April 7, 4:30 – 7 p.m. | Cornman Farms

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Sarah Fennel via Zingerman’s Cornman Farms

Owner of Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, Kieron Hales hails from England, and he’s bringing the culture and food of his homeland to the farm throughout March. Every Sunday from March 3rd through April 7th, join the team for a traditional English Pie & Mash shop pop-up. Food will include savory handmade pies with mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies and Chef Kieron’s creamy and indulgent Devon Fudge, a recipe from his hometown. To see all the menus and learn more, click here.

 

 

Happy March!

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Your Ultimate Guide to Dexter, Michigan

outdoor recreation in Dexter Michigan

Founded in 1824, Dexter has been built by Washtenaw County’s farm and agricultural heritage. Today, the community offers attractions that celebrate that history as well as a thriving village center. As the unofficial gateway to the area’s lakes and Metroparks, you’ll discover plenty of places to gather, refuel and rest—and you’ll find some of our favorites on this guide.

Keep reading to find out where you need to go, what you need to see, what you can do and which annual events should be on your calendar.

 

Jump ahead:

The Essential Eateries | Things to Do | Outdoor Recreation | Annual Events

 

 

The Essential Eateries

 

The Dexter Bakery

8101 Main St | Facebook

The Dexter Bakery best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Dexter Bakery

The home of mouth-watering jelly donuts, Instagram-worthy cupcakes, towering cakes, fluffy soft pretzels and freshly baked breads, The Dexter Bakery is a must-visit near Ann Arbor. In 2018, they were even named the Sweetest Bakery in Michigan through the Sweetest Bakery in America Contest! And they’ve been serving their treats in downtown Dexter for more than 100 years.

 

Hotel Hickman Chuckwagon BBQ

8050 Main St | Facebook

Located on Main Street and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this local spot offers authentic chuckwagon cooking and cowboy culture. From full slabs of baby back ribs to BBQ pulled pork served Hotel Hickman baked buns, this is downhome cooking you’ll want to eat every day.

 

Dexter Riverview Cafe

8124 Main St | Facebook

One of the community’s beloved breakfast and lunch spots, Dexter Riverview Cafe is a locally owned and operated eatery. Their menu features fresh, homemade oatmeal, homemade biscuits and gravy, pita sandwiches, coneys, and more.  

 

The Fillmore Bar & Grill

7954 Ann Arbor St | Facebook

The Fillmore Bar and Grill Dexter Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Fillmore Bar & Grill

Located in a historic, former farmhouse in downtown Dexter, The Fillmore Bar & Grill is one of the newest additions to the dining scene in town. Inside their relaxed, cozy home, you can enjoy meals made from scratch using only fresh, house-made and locally sourced ingredients. And the drink menu includes craft beer and craft cocktails!

 

Joe and Rosie Coffee and Tea

8074 Main St | Facebook

This cafe, bakery and coffee shop is a Dexter original. They use organic and fair-trade products to create delicious sandwiches, hot soups and cravable pastries like freshly baked scones, vegan muffins, and tea biscuits you can pair with loose leaf teas.

 

Sushi Time

7050 Dexter Ann Arbor Rd Suite 100 | Facebook

A true hidden gem in the Ann Arbor area, Sushi Time is a family-owned business serving some of our favorite sushi and Asian fusion meals. Check out their enormous menu online here.

 

Chela’s

7065 Dexter Ann Arbor Rd | Facebook

Chela’s serves up authentic Mexican food from two locations: one in Dexter and one in Ann Arbor. Their huge menu of tasty dishes includes classics like barbacoa, al pastor and carne asada alongside vegetarian options and creative fusions.

 

 

Things to Do

 

Mindo Chocolate Makers

11061 Trinkle Rd | Facebook

Mindo chocolate Dexter Michigan

Photo courtesy of Anne Savage Photography via Mindo Chocolate Makers

Using only the highest quality ingredients, sourced directly from family farms in Ecuador, Mindo Chocolate Makers crafts true bean to bar chocolate. And while they’re crafting those delectable bars, they’re supporting local economies in chocolate-growing communities and promoting sustainable practices. Want to take a class or a tour? Click here.

 

The Encore Musical Theatre Company

3126 Broad St | Facebook

The Encore Musical Theatre Company puts together some of the best live shows in the Ann Arbor area. Typically, their calendar year includes six productions of both classics and new shows. To learn about their kid-friendly summer program, click here.

 

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

2319 Bishop Cir E | Facebook

Founded by Ron Jeffries in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin began in Dexter and now operates pubs and tap houses in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, Royal Oak, Grand Rapids and Chicago. In the Dexter brewery and tasting room, you can taste their sour beers, celebrate new releases, attend special events and more. The Dexter location is also a full-service restaurant, so if you get hungry, you can snag something from the locally sourced and sustainable menu. 

 

Zingerman’s Cornman Farms

8540 Island Lake Rd | Facebook

Located on 42 acres, Zingerman’s Cornman Farms is surrounded in all directions by flowers, vegetation and jaw-dropping landscape. As both a working farm and an elegant event venue, the space features an exhibition kitchen for events and culinary classes, a chef’s garden, a classic farmhouse, a four-season barn and a stunning tent pavilion. Led by Executive Chef and Owner Kieron Hales, the foods and the hospitality services are born from his experience in Michelin star kitchens and time spent living and cooking in 27 different countries. If you want to visit, check out their event calendar here which includes a monthly pancake pop-up.

 

Dexter Area Historical Society

3443 Inverness St + 8311 Island Lake Road | Facebook

The Dexter Area Historical Society is a nonprofit organization which works to preserve the history of the Dexter area. They do this through their two properties—the Dexter Area Museum and Gordon Hall—where they host public tours, educational opportunities and some of our favorite annual events.

 

Dexter Cider Mill

3685 Central St | Facebook

Open seasonally, Dexter Cider Mill is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in the entire state. Today, the team makes cider the same way it was made 120 years ago: using locally grown, hand picked apples on an oak rack press. Even their equipment is over 100-years-old! In addition to natural cider, fresh apples, doughnuts, apple nut bread, made-from-scratch apple pies, apple strudel, apple turnovers and hand rolled gingersnaps, you can also purchase homemade hard ciders made on-site.

 

Dexter Blueberry Farm

11024 Beach Rd | Facebook

Open seasonally from mid-July through August, Dexter Blueberry Farm is a local farm where you can pick your own fresh blueberries. And that tradition began all the way back in the early 1970s when the first field was planted.

 

Berry Hill Farm

12835 N Territorial Rd | Facebook

Berry Hill Farm has been growing raspberries since 1985. Today, you can pick your own raspberries and blackberries during harvest season from mid-July through October.

 

 

Outdoor Recreation

 

Dexter-Huron Metropark

Get directions

outdoor recreation in Dexter Michigan

This 120-acre park is located on the east side of Dexter along the Huron River. Heavily wooded and filled with wildflowers during the spring, the open space offers shady picnic areas, swings, slides, a softball diamond, fishing and convenient places to launch your canoe on the river.

 

Hudson Mills Metropark

Get directions

The setting for some of our favorite events throughout the year, Hudson Mills Metropark covers 1,536 acres and features some of the Huron River’s most picturesque scenery. Activities throughout the year include disc golf on two, 24-hole courses, golfing on the 6,560-yard, par-71 course, cross-country skiing, playing field and court games, camping, fishing, canoeing and so much more.

 

Mill Creek Park

Get directions

Mill Creek Park in downtown Dexter has a north side and a south side located on each side of Main Street. In Mill Creek Park North, you can explore 2.15 acres via the pedestrian path, over the pedestrian bridge and along the scenic Mill Creek which flows northeast into the Huron River.

 

Border-to-Border Trail

Get directions

Developed in partnership with Huron River Greenway, the Border-to-Border Trail is a non-motorized pathway that connects cities, parks, neighborhoods and trails throughout Washtenaw County. Eventually, the trail will span 70 total miles. And a section of those miles already connects downtown Dexter directly to the Metroparks system.

 

 

Annual Events

 

The Memorial Day Parade

May

Memorial Day Parade Dexter Michigan

Dexter’s Memorial Day Parade is hosted each year by Rotary Club of Dexter on Memorial Day. For more information on this year’s event, check out their website here.

 

Dexter Daze

August

For nearly 50 years, Dexter Daze has been providing an occasion for our communities’ families to come together and celebrate with artisans and crafters, local businesses and free entertainment. This event is put together each year by the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce

 

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival

August

En plein air is the act of painting outdoors, and the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival invites artists and community members to do just that! Over the course of four days, local and visiting artists will paint in and around Dexter. Then, non-painters can view and purchase artwork at the three-day exhibit in Monument Park.

 

Dexter Summer Concerts

Summer

Every Friday during the summer, the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce hosts this summer series in the Monument Park Gazebo. The free shows start with the Dexter Community Orchestra, continue with other local bands, and include other live performances.

 

Apple Daze Festival

October

Apple Daze Festival Dexter Michigan

The Dexter Lions Club sponsors Apple Daze in celebration of Michigan’s most famous product: apples! In Monument Park during harvest season, the event includes hayrides, apple pie eating contests, a classic car show, games for kids, cider, doughnuts and candy apples, craft booths, and more.

 

Downtown Halloween Treats

October

On the day of Halloween, you can find Main Street businesses open for trick or treaters all day. Then, the holiday culminates in a kid-friendly party in Monument Park during the afternoon—all hosted by the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce

 

The Kroger A2 Turkey Trot

November

November 2018 events Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Greg Sadler Photography via Epic Races

Epic Races celebrates Thanksgiving with a race through Hudson Mills Metropark. This running and walking event features three different distances: a 5K loop around scenic Hudson Mills, a 10K course comprised of two 5K loops, and a quick mile fun run.

 

Dexter After Dark

December

An event hosted by the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce, Dexter After Dark invites local businesses to stay open late and shoppers can enjoy special sales, giveaways, prizes and more to kick off the holiday season.

 

Holiday Hustle

December

This one-mile fun run and 5k in Dexter has become one of our favorite family traditions in the area. The hilly dash through the community allows participants to take in the neighborhood light displays and run in festive costume and lights, too! A portion from each registration is donated to local charities and race day participants can bring non-perishable food items to receive free raffle tickets.

 

 

Did you fall in love with Dexter?

If you want to find your permanent home in Dexter, Michigan, click here to see homes for sale in the area.

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Your Guide to Ann Arbor’s Independent Bookstores, Mapped

Ann Arbor independent bookstores

In 1971, Borders Books began as a small, used bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor. Over the years, the hometown operation outgrew several new storefronts until it landed in its grand, two-story building on Liberty and Maynard Streets. It soon became both the largest retail business in downtown Ann Arbor and the first book superstore as it spread across the globe.

But as many book lovers know Borders locations everywhere closed their doors in 2011—including our hometown headquarters. And the book superstore wasn’t the only one suffering; online sales and larger corporations crippled independent bookstores all over the country.

But in 2013, despite losing Borders and other beloved shops, our little book-loving community saw the opening of two new independent bookstores. And today, Ann Arbor is celebrated as one of the last remaining towns where independent bookstores are alive and well.

We rounded up the local storefronts and businesses where you can help support independent bookstores. And while you’re shopping, you may also find your new favorite book, a cozy atmosphere and a local community of book lovers just like you.

Bookbound

1729 Plymouth Rd | Facebook

Co-founder Peter Blackshear worked at Ann Arbor’s Borders for nearly two decades. When it closed for good, he and his wife decided to pursue their dream of opening their own community bookstore, and since our book-loving community offered the perfect setting, they opened Bookbound right here in 2013. Today, they’re a favorite in town offering new releases and bestsellers alongside classics and nonfiction, children’s books, bargain books, gifts, special orders and more.

 

Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tea Room

114 S Main St | Facebook

Crazy Wisdom has been locally owned and independent since 1982, and they’re still going strong today as Ann Arbor’s headquarters for books on specialized topics like holistic health, psychology, Buddhism, spiritual development, consciousness and more. With over 200 book categories total, an inventory of other goods, and a tea room where you can enjoy a full English tea, you’ll find plenty of excuses to hang out in this cozy downtown shop.

 

The Dawn Treader Book Shop

514 E Liberty St | Facebook

Dawn Treader Book Shop Ann Arbor independent bookstores

Photo courtesy of The Dawn Treader Book Shop

This local bookshop has been selling used and rare books for twenty-two years in Ann Arbor. Over the years, they transformed from a tiny basement store into a huge storefront offering more than 70,000 titles. And though they specialize in rare and antiquarian collections, shoppers can find everything from recent paperback releases to incunabula that dates all the way back to the 1500s.

 

Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library Book Shop

343 S 5th Ave | Facebook

The Friends of the Ann Arbor Public Library was formed in 1953 and has since been the driving force for expansion of the Ann Arbor District Library and its programs. In 1954, they hosted their first fundraiser selling books, records, picture frames, baked goods and flowers, and they raised $348. Today, their shop brings in more than $100,000 per year to aid the library. You can shop the book shop at the Downtown Library and find thousands of gently used titles sold at prices as low as 50 cents.

 

Literati Bookstore

124 E Washington St | Facebook

Literati Ann Arbor independent bookstores

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

When Borders closed its doors all over the country, Hilary and Mike Gustafson were inspired to move back to their home state and open Literati Bookstore as a book-lovers haven in downtown Ann Arbor. On the store’s lower level, they set out an old typewriter and invited anyone and everyone to type a note on it. Over the years, they accumulated thousands of love notes, poems, sentences and salutations. Published in 2018, “Notes From A Public Typewriter” compiles some of their favorites alongside essays, photos and more. In addition to their public typewriter, their huge inventory of books and their friendly staff, they have a full-service coffee shop upstairs!

 

Motte & Bailey Booksellers

212 N 4th Ave | Facebook

Motte & Bailey is a type of medieval Norman castle and the name of this local bookstore was chosen to reflect the team’s interest in books that concern all the various aspects of history. They opened their original storefront in 2000, moved into their current one in 2006, and have become notable in town for their huge inventory of books, their history-focused reading groups, and their great book deals. Speaking of which, you can take advantage of the “buy three and get a deal” offer every day. For more information, check out the website here.

 

Nicola’s Books

2513 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Nicola's Books Ann Arbor independent bookstores

Photo courtesy of Nicola’s Books

Nicola’s is a bookstore for everyone with everything and every title you could dream of. That’s because this premier independent bookstore specializes in book searches—especially if your dream book is out of print or hard to find. In addition to this unique skill, they also offer an inventory of bestsellers, new releases, classics, children’s book and more.

 

Our Lady of Grace Bookstore

24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive | Facebook

This locally-owned, specialized bookstore focuses on traditional and current Catholic books, Bibles, gifts, inspirational art and media. From Roman Catholic study books to uplifting DVDs and even special-occasion gifts for baptism, first communion and confirmation, their staff and inventory can help you regarding all your faith-based needs.

 

Vault of Midnight

219 S Main St | Facebook

Vault of Midnight Ann Arbor independent bookstores

Photo courtesy of Chase Stanton via Vault of Midnight

As the headquarters of comic book lore in Michigan, Vault of Midnight has three locations: their flagship store in Ann Arbor which opened in 1996, their second in Grand Rapids and a third in Detroit. Inside and online, you can get access to comic book subscription services, special orders, the book of the month, special events, education, merchandise and so much more.

 

West Side Book Shop

113 W Liberty St

Originally opened in 1975, West Side Book Shop has been a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America since 1980. As such, the shop specializes in antiquarian material with a strong focus on adventure and exploration. Stop in to fuel your own adventure and you may stumble upon a rare find or a modern first edition.

 

Looking for more books?  

You can find more local businesses, like Aunt Agatha’s and Garrett Scott, Bookseller, operating online where they offer online inventory and other book services.

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The Best Places to Eat Dinner in Ann Arbor Without a Reservation

Ann Arbor dinner no reservations

So, you’re planning a dinner date, a family outing, or a friendly dinner and you forgot to make a reservation? Don’t worry, there are still plenty of options for dining in Ann Arbor.

We rounded up the local Ann Arbor restaurants that either don’t accept or don’t require reservations which means, yes, some of these restaurants won’t have a wait. But remember, walk-in only doesn’t mean walk-in right away. Some of the walk-in only spots may have a wait; if you’re worried, it’s always a good idea to call ahead. We’ve provided phone numbers, too, to make it easy for you.

 

Arbor Brewing Company

114 E Washington St | Facebook | (734) 213-1393

When the Greffs opened the doors to Arbor Brewing Company in 1995, it was the first brewpub to open in Ann Arbor and only the fifth brewpub to open in the entire state of Michigan. Today, their two locations in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have become beloved destinations for craft beer and inspired food. The Ann Arbor brewpub offers a pub-inspired menu with everything from hand breaded chicken fingers to smoked trout and even a vegan burger!

 

Biercamp

1643 S State St | Facebook | (734) 995-2437

Biercamp Ann Arbor dinner no reservations

Photo courtesy of Biercamp

Everything at Biercamp is made by hand in small batches using unique ingredients and family recipes. And all the meats come from farms where animals are raised humanely with no antibiotics, hormones, growth promoting drugs or artificial ingredients. And as a craft brewery, the same care and attention is applied to their beer program. In the combination shop, taproom and beer garden, you can taste their small-batch craft beers which are also made in-house and by hand.

 

Cantina Taqueria + Bar

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | (734) 222-3715

From their casual dining room perched above South University, Cantina serves bold tacos made from quality ingredients alongside tequilas, whiskeys and craft margaritas. With a menu of both meaty and vegetarian options, it’s the perfect location for everyone to come together and enjoy carnitas tacos, potato tacos, black bean tacos and more!

 

Earthen Jar

311 S 5th Ave | Facebook | (734) 327-9464

If you’re looking for a place to dine without a reservation, a buffet is going to be a good bet, and choosing Earthen Jar would be one of your best decisions of the day. The vegetarian and mostly vegan buffet is the first and only kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor. They offer a hot buffet, cold buffet and dessert buffet all packed with delicious Indian food.

 

El Harissa Market Cafe

1516 N Maple Rd | Facebook | (734) 585-0686

The name El Harissa comes from Harissa, a spicy and flavorful chili pepper paste that has injected its explosive flavor into dishes from throughout the Mediterranean region. Using this inspiration, the team at this Ann Arbor café produces unique North African and Mediterranean cuisine that includes everything from meat entrees to gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

 

Frita Batidos

117 W Washington St | Facebook | (734) 761-2882

At Frita Batidos, the burgers are the main attraction because the frita is a traditional Cuban burger made from spicy chorizo served with shoestring fries on a soft egg bun. And a batido is a tropical milkshake made with fresh fruit, crushed ice, sweetened milk and rum (optional, of course). That’s what we call a perfect pairing!

 

Good Time Charley’s

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | (734) 668-8411

Good Time Charley's Ann Arbor dinner no reservations

Photo courtesy of Good Time Charley’s

Good Time Charley’s opened its doors in 1979, the first U-M student walked in, and the rest is history. The sports bar and restaurant is located right across the street from the university and is a great choice to watch Wolverine games, to enjoy a casual dinner, to meet with friends or to grab a beer at the bar. Whichever one you’re choosing today, we recommend starting your visit with an order of Pepperoni Styx.

 

Haymaker Public House

203 E Washington St | Facebook | (734) 997-5399

Located in Downtown Ann Arbor, Haymaker is a favorite sports bar and restaurant amongst locals, students, visitors and people around all of Southeast Michigan. Their pub offers board games, trivia, handcrafted beverages, 24 different beers on draft and a menu of classic comfort food that includes Brisket & Waffle Poutine. Yum!

 

HopCat

311 Maynard St | Facebook | (734) 436-2875

HopCat began back in 2008 in Grand Rapids and later opened their Ann Arbor location which has now been serving beer, food and fun for more than three years. Through those years, they’ve offered their famous lineup of 100 craft beers on tap and a semi-psychedelic setting that perfectly fits the atmosphere of A2. With items like Vladimir Poutine, Five Pepper Beef Chili, The Grand Royale, and an entire section dedicated to stuffed burgers, the food menu is worth a visit even if you’re not there for the beer.

 

Isalita

341 E Liberty St | Facebook | (734) 213-7400

From the same team behind MANI Osteria and Mikette Bistro & Bar, Isalita is our hometown’s very own cantina. The menu is inspired by the street stall food found in open-air markets throughout Mexico and the hospitality is designed in true mi casa es su casa spirit.

On normal days, they don’t accept reservations for groups smaller than five, but they do offer a 20-minute call ahead guest list. For more information on their reservation policy, click here.

 

The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook | (734) 224-8859

The Lunch Room is the original location from the foodie team that has become a favorite here in Ann Arbor. Because only plant-based foods are served here, you never have to worry about the presence of meat, dairy, eggs, honey or anything processed with animal products. Additionally, many ingredients are also organic and non-GMO and nearly every item is made from scratch.

 

MANI Osteria

341 E Liberty St | Facebook | (734) 769-6700

This downtown restaurant is named for two things: the word “mani”, which means “hands” or “handmade” in Italian and the classic Italian osteria, an eatery that emphasizes local ingredients, small production wines and hospitality.

On normal days, they don’t accept reservations for groups smaller than five, but they do offer a 20-minute call ahead guest list. For more information on their reservation policy, click here.

 

Rappourt Brew & Chew

2721 Plymouth Rd | Facebook | (734) 929-2430

The family-owned Rappourt offers a communal dining room and a true community atmosphere. Pair that with a gourmet burger, signature tacos, shareable snacks, pub-inspired entrees, and/or chicken wings and you’ll leave happy every time. Additional bonuses include 48 taps of rotating craft beer and delicious vegetarian options!

 

Spencer

113 E Liberty St | Facebook | (734) 369-3979

Spencer Ann Arbor dinner no reservations

Photo courtesy of Spencer

Owned and operated by two food and hospitality experts, Spencer balances the feel of a casual wine bar with craveable, upscale fare made from local ingredients. As a result, the small, daily changing menu is made up of unique shareable plates as well as an impressive lineup of wines, drafts and bottles. Their casual but modern atmosphere is complete with counter service and communal seating, and you can stop in for dinner six nights a week.

 

Tomukun Noodle Bar

505 E Liberty St #200 | Facebook | (734) 995-8668

As Ann Arbor’s favorite noodle bar, Tomukun, serves some of the town’s best ramen, pho, udon, stir-fry and pork buns along with a wide variety of imported Asian beers, sake and soju. Inspired by the comfort foods the owners and chefs grew up with in Asia, you’re sure to be satisfied at the end of every dinner—and you’ll want to come back ASAP!

 

Wolverine State Brewing Co.

2019 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook | (734) 369-2990

This Ann Arbor craft brewery is the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan. That means, when you stop in, you’ll get the opportunity to explore absolutely everything a lager can do—from the solid, approachable flagship to innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations. And in the taproom, you can pair that a food menu filled with shareable plates, snacks, famous nachos, salads and craft sandwiches.

 

Do you have a favorite?

Where do you go for dinner when you don’t have time to make a reservation? Let us know in the comments below!

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The ABCs of Ann Arbor: Local businesses, landmarks and characteristics from A to Z

Things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Sure, you know your ABCs. A stands for apple, L stands for lion and Z stands for zoo, right? But do you know your ABCs of Ann Arbor?

Today, we’re swapping apple for Ann Arbor Art Center, lion for Literati Bookstore, and zoo for Zingerman’s. Keep reading to get a peek into Ann Arbor’s best local businesses, landmarks, parks, attractions and characteristics. And don’t forget to practice your ABCs!

 

A: Ann Arbor Art Center  

Ann Arbor Art Center Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition, and they strive to engage minds, expand perspectives, and inspire growth in students of all ages, teachers, artists and the community. Now, they engage more than 49,500 people every year through programming, exhibitions, fun classes and the 117 Gallery Shop.

 

B: Blank Slate Creamery

Blank Slate Creamery is a local ice cream shop churning out homemade ice cream using fresh, all-natural ingredients. This little shop has even won numerous rankings as the top ice cream in Ann Arbor and throughout the state of Michigan!

 

C: The Creature Conservancy

The Creature Conservancy charities in Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of The Creature Conservancy

This nonprofit organization hosts camps, classes, private events and programs that inspire compassionate connections to wildlife and allow the public to learn about ecology, biology, conservation and more through real animal encounters. In addition to offering these programs, they serve as a home for Al the alligator, Quinn the bald eagle, Jerome the Argentine Tegu, Harper the cougar, Bedhead the porcupine and several other rescue and transplant animals.

 

D: Detroit Street Filling Station

Detroit Street Filling Station comes to us from the team behind The Lunch Room, and every eatery and bakery run by this team serves food that is entirely plant-based. That’s why both The Lunch Room and Detroit Street Filling Station landed on The 15 Best Vegan + Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Ann Arbor. This particular restaurant is housed in the historic building that was once The Staebler Family Oil Company so it offers plant-based eats with a side of history (and a great patio!).

 

E: The Earle

The Earle has been a downtown Ann Arbor favorite for more than 20 years. In addition to the decadent menu of French and Italian country cuisine, the romance is heightened by live jazz five nights a week, solo piano and solo guitar performances. Their world-class wine selection has over 1,200 options and wraps the evening up perfectly!

 

F: FoolMoon

One of the community’s favorite annual events, FoolMoon is the nighttime kick-off event to an entire weekend of foolishness and revelry. Hosted by Wonderfool Productions, the event celebrates the coming of spring with dance, laughter and handmade luminaries, interactive installations, laser shows, live music performances, and other entertainment.

And FoolMoon is followed by FestiFools, the annual, daytime event of foolishness and art. This enormous public art spectacular showcases hundreds of colorful, bizarre, human-powered paper-mâché puppets made by members of the community and U of M students.

 

G: Gallup Park Canoe Livery

One of the highlights of Ann Arbor is the Huron River, and one of the best places to see the river is on top of it! Gallup Park Canoe Livery in Gallup Park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, kid kayak, paddle boat and rowboat rentals, plus concessions, merchandise and river-themed programs. And the park itself offers 69 acres of open space for play, recreation, picnicking and more.

 

H: Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum  

Highlighted in 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum is home to countless interactive exhibits where children and adults can get hands-on and discover their inner scientist. Visiting the museum any day of the week means you can explore exhibits like Michigan Nature, Lyons Country Store, MediaWorks, and DTE Energy Foundation Light and Optics.

 

I: Innovation

Ann Arbor loves art, creativity, discovering new things and supporting new local businesses, which makes it the perfect headquarters of innovation. In fact, our hometown institution, The University of Michigan, was ranked on Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities 2018 and the city of Ann Arbor was ranked on the Livability 2017 Best Cities For Entrepreneurs!

 

J: Jim Toy Community Center

The Jim Toy Community Center is a resource center that exists to provide information, education, social events and advocacy by and for the queer and ally community in our county. In addition to providing resources and awareness, they help foster an inclusive community here in Ann Arbor and host Ann Arbor Pride every summer.

 

K: Kerrytown Market & Shops

Kerrytown is a charming market district located just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. Here, you’ll find the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, other annual events like Kerrytown KindleFest, beloved restaurants like Miss Kim and The Lunch Room, as well as local shops 16 Hands, Ann Arbor Spice Merchants, Spun and more.

 

L: Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore is a locally owned and operated book-lovers’ haven in downtown Ann Arbor. On the store’s lower level, you’ll find the bookstore and the team’s famous public typewriter which invites anyone and everyone to type. Over the years, they’ve accumulated thousands of love notes, poems, sentences and salutations. Published in 2018, “Notes From A Public Typewriter” compiles some of their favorites alongside essays, photos and more. Stop by to shop local for books, type your own note on the Literati public typewriter, and head upstairs to visit Literati Coffee, a full-service coffee shop.  

 

M: University of Michigan Museum of Art

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan budget-friendly under $20 free

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via University of Michigan Museum of Art

Located on the university campus, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the country. Their collections represent 150 years of art collecting and include everything from 1000 BCE Middle Eastern artifacts to 21st-century paintings. Admission to the museum is always free, which makes it one of our favorite budget-friendly attractions in town! To learn more, check out 14 Things to Do in Ann Arbor Under $20.  

 

N: Nichols Arboretum

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two educational and environmental spaces on the UM campus. The botanical gardens include eleven outdoor areas full of bonsai, native and medicinal plants, perennials and more. And during colder months, you can enjoy the year-round indoor conservatory filled with plants from around the world. The arboretum spans miles of trails and land with impressive collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs.

 

O: Ozone House

Nonprofits and charities in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via Ozone House

Based in the Ann Arbor area with facilities in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Ozone House is a community-based, nonprofit agency that helps young people lead safe, healthy and productive lives. They do this by offering high-quality housing and support programs, as well as services that provide support, intervention, training and assistance to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth and their families. To learn more about this and more organizations in the area, check out 23 Local Charities in the Ann Arbor Area and How You Can Help.

 

P: Pinckney State Recreation Area

Covering a whopping 11,000 acres, Pinckney State Recreation Area is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Ann Arbor area. Known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes, the park also offers over forty miles of multi-use trails, picnicking, playgrounds, beaches, a concession stand, boat launches and rowboat, canoe, paddle boat and kayak rentals. To find more ways to opt outside in and around Ann Arbor, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

Q: Quality of life

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked on research and data-based lists of the best places to live in the United States. In 2018, our city ranked the number one city on the Livability Top 100 Best Places To Live. This list measures data points that cover economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare.

Other rankings and lists include the 2018 National Geographic list The Best Cities in the United States, RewardExpert’s Best Mid-Sized Cities to Visit in 2017, the Livability 2018 10 Best Places to Raise a Family, the National Geographic ranking of the happiest cities in the United States, and Realtor.com’s 2018 ranking of the Cities Where Home Buyers Have the Least Amount of Debt.

 

R: Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war. And many of those real Rosies worked in factories right here in the Ann Arbor area. To celebrate this, 3,755 people gathered at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center in Ypsilanti in 2017 to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter. And this Ypsi gathering had 58 original Rosies who worked in factories during WWII!

In addition to celebrating history, this group gathered to support the Yankee Air Museum’s effort to save, preserve and renovate Rosie’s historic World War II-era factory: the Willow Run Bomber Plant located just minutes outside the heart of Ypsilanti.

 

S: State Theater

Paired with its sister venue, The Michigan Theater, the State Theater is an excellent representation of Ann Arbor’s proud history and passion for indie art. Today, the two historic theaters offer regular showings of indie movies, limited releases and special screenings as well as live music shows, performances and more.

 

T: Ann Arbor Triathlon

Every year, our Ann Arbor community hosts countless recreation and racing events to celebrate our community and our parks. The annual Ann Arbor Triathlon is the culmination of all of this and happens every year near the end of the summer. Beginning at Halfmoon Lake in Pinckney State Recreation Area, racers swim the waters of Halfmoon, bike the country roads of the surrounding rural area, and run the 5-mile classic Poto Trail course to complete the challenge. You can get more information here.

 

U: University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is continually ranked amongst the best universities in the nation, and, in the US News & World Report 2019 ranking of the best national universities, it makes the top 30. Boasting a total undergraduate enrollment of just under 30,000, UM offers students more than 1,500 organizations, more than 60 Greek chapters, and an impressive lineup of athletics for both athletes and fans. It’s also our number one reason in 10 Reasons Ann Arbor is the Best College Town in America.

 

V: Vinology

Owned and operated by the Jonna family, this neighborhood wine bar, dinner destination and event venue boasts a chic atmosphere, 150 wines and a New American menu. Their team has more than 40 years of experience in the food and wine business and offers everything from weekend brunch to wedding services.

 

W: Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Brit Hueter via Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine State Brewing Co. snagged their W in the ABCs of Ann Arbor because they represent both our community’s love and passion for the University of Michigan Wolverines (Go Blue!) and our community’s love for craft beer.

And this Ann Arbor craft brewery is the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan! That means a visit to the taproom will be an exploration of absolutely everything a lager can do—from their solid, approachable flagship to their innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations.

 

X: X-Golf Ann Arbor

X-Golf is a franchise and creator of what is called the most innovative and accurate golf simulator in the world. The Ann Arbor location is minutes from the heart of town in Saline and is different from other locations because the team also offers a full bar and restaurant with pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and pretzels, craft beer, bar games like shuffleboard and darts, and nine big screen TVs. So you can come for a drink, come to cheer on your favorite football team, play some virtual golf, host your own event or even join X-League!

 

Y: Ypsilanti

A celebration of Ann Arbor wouldn’t be complete without a feature on its surrounding communities, and Ypsilanti is a great place to start. This community is located on Ann Arbor’s eastern border, has a dense history in automobile production and World War II, and is now home to some of our favorite local museums, businesses, restaurants, events and parks in the area. To explore the community, check out Ypsi Real, a brand managed by Destination Ann Arbor.

 

Z: Zingerman’s

Zingerman's Creamery Beer and Cheese pairing March 2018

Photo courtesy of Emma Boonstra via Zingerman’s Creamery

A hallmark of Ann Arbor’s entrepreneurial character, Zingerman’s Company of Businesses began humbly in 1982 as a small delicatessen in a historic building that was once a neighborhood grocery store. But when founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig wanted to expand Zingerman’s Delicatessen, they chose to avoid the typical franchise model in favor of expanding their expertise, their team and their company into new, independent businesses. Now, our community boasts a whole array of businesses—from bakeries and restaurants to training services and wedding venues—operating under the Zingerman’s name. You can learn about all of them in Your Guide to 14 Zingerman’s Businesses in Ann Arbor.

 

Do you know your ABCs?

Give your favorite Ann Arbor landmarks, businesses and characteristics a shoutout in the comments below!

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The 14 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend February 2019

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

February may be one of our chilliest months, but that doesn’t mean the events are slowing down in Ann Arbor and our surrounding communities. In fact, with things like a curling festival, ice carving exhibitions and ice hockey, it seems our communities are just fine with the cold.

Keep reading to find out what’s happening in the Ann Arbor area this February. Our guide includes both free and ticketed events for all ages.

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

Arts + Culture

 

Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra | Ypsilanti

February 17, 3:30 p.m. | Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

In celebration of their 20th year, Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra is hosting five concert events continuing through May 2019. Their third is scheduled for Sunday, February 17th inside Towsley Auditorium and it’s free to attend.

 

The Vintage Market presents: Flannel Fling! | Ann Arbor

February 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

The Vintage Market is an upscale, vintage-inspired flea market-based in Monroe, Michigan. But in February, they’re coming to Ann Arbor for Flannel Fling! Held inside at Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, this market will feature more than 100 vendors selling antiques, home decor, kitchenware, candles, handmade items, clothing, jewelry and more. For more information, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

TEDxUofM 2019: Absolute Zero | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6 – 10 p.m. | Power Center for Performing Arts

The TEDx program allows independent organizations and communities to bring the spirit of the annual TED conference to their homes around the globe. And in February, the annual TEDxUofM conference returns to showcase the most fascinating thinkers, doers and leaders in Michigan. For ticket information, click here.

 

The Ark’s 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival | Ann Arbor

February 23, 7:30 p.m. | The Ark

Laura Simms, Edgar Oliver and Michigan’s Ivory D. Williams are taking the stage for The Ark’s 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival. The spoken word event costs just $25 to attend and will be an evening of stories, adventures, laughter and creativity. For updates, RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

 

Washtenaw Community Concert Band: Celebration of the Community | Ann Arbor

February 28, 7:30 p.m. | Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College

This free Washtenaw Community Concert Band program is dedicated to the community. As such, it will celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and it will even highlight student players from local high schools.

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

Let’s Chill Winterfest | Milan

February 1 – 2 | Downtown Milan

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

Centered around Milan’s downtown shopping area, Wilson Park and Edgetown, this annual event is one of our favorite winter happenings. Activities include a chili cook-off, Let’s Chill Winter Fest Wine Walk, indoor and outdoor winter games, ice carving, an Artisan tent, food, The Big Freeze, and more. For full details, check out the website here.

 

Ice Carving Festival | Ann Arbor

February 9, 12 – 4 p.m. | County Farm Park

Chainsaws and flamethrowers will wow the crowds at Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission’s Fourth Annual Ice Carving Festival. Students and teams from colleges and universities across Southeast Michigan will compete for the winning sculpture while you and your family enjoy hot chocolate and crafts at this free event.

 

Rally in the Alley | Ann Arbor

February 9, 1 p.m. | Revel & Roll

February 2019 marks the first ever Rally in the Alley event benefiting the University of Michigan Department of Radiation Oncology. This event will raise funds for patients in the department who are struggling with transportation, food, hotels and other things while under treatment. The event will include two hours of bowling, pizza for everyone and soft drinks, and the attractions of Revel & Roll will be available as well as a silent auction and other mini-games. Individual tickets are $25 and more information can be found here.

 

2019 University of Michigan Polar Plunge | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6:30 p.m. | The Big House

The Polar Plunge is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event that benefits Special Olympics chapters throughout the country. This unique event in Ann Arbor will benefit Special Olympics Michigan and will invite participants into The Big House to take the plunge on the field. After putting on your Wolverine costume in the locker room, you can join the parade of costumes through the tunnel then plunge into an icy pool. For more information on fundraising and registration, click here.

 

 

Sports

 

U-M Ice Hockey vs. Michigan State | Ann Arbor

February 8, 7:30 p.m. | Yost Ice Arena

The U-M Ice Hockey team is facing off against Michigan State inside Yost Ice Arena on February 8th. To get more details and see the full schedule, click here.

 

Curling Fest | Chelsea

February 8 – 10 | Chelsea Lanes Parking Lot

Sponsored by our very own Rick Taylor, Curling Fest 2019 is an entire weekend of curling fun for beginners and experienced competitors alike! Team tournaments are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday morning to compete for the Chelsea Curling Cup. And if you’re not playing, spectating is free. You can enjoy music, beer, food, hot cocoa and more—all in a heated tent!

 

 

Food + Drink

 

Gluten Free WinterFest | Ann Arbor

February 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

Gluten Free WinterFest is a one-day food festival that celebrates local makers in a completely celiac safe environment. Attractions include food from eight restaurants, caterers and food trucks, exhibits from local businesses, a shopping bazaar, live music, entertainment for kids, prizes and more. For more information, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

Victorian Valentine Tea | Ann Arbor

February 9 – 10 | Kempf House Museum

Inside the Kempf House Museum, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with an elegant, traditional tea complete with both sweet and savory offerings. This year, Victorian Valentine Tea will have two seatings: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Period attire is welcome, tickets are between $25 and $30, and you can make your reservations through February 4th by calling (734) 994-4898.

 

Artini | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6:30 – 10 p.m. | Ann Arbor Art Center and other locations

This fundraising event brings together the town’s best bars, restaurants and local martini connoisseurs for an evening of mixology fun. Benefitting the Ann Arbor Art Center, Artini guests will visit with about 10 local businesses, including The Pretzel Bell, Ann Arbor Distilling Company, The Grotto and Bløm Meadworks, at various locations. Then, text in to vote for the People’s Choice Award. The Juror’s Choice Award will be decided by a panel of hand-selected jurors that are unaffiliated with the participating venues. Ticket prices are $65 each and attendees must be 21 years or older. For more info, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

 

Enjoy!

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Where to Eat Healthy in Ann Arbor

healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Ann Arbor is one of Michigan’s many foodie destinations, especially if you’re on the hunt for plant-based, locally sourced or whole food eats. 

Today, we’re rounding up a handful of the best places for meals that are good for you and, coincidentally, good for our planet, too! This guide includes acai bowls, poké bowls, all-vegan restaurants, gluten-free menus, locally-sourced ingredients, fruit smoothies and so much more. Enjoy!

 

Detroit Street Filling Station   

300 Detroit St | Facebook

Detroit Street Filling Station healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of Detroit Street Filling Station

Owned and operated by the same team behind Ann Arbor’s The Lunch Room, Detroit Street Filling Station is housed in the historic building that was once the home of The Staebler Family Oil Company. Today, they’re churning out plant-based eats that make everyone, regardless of diet, love vegan cuisine.

Why it’s healthy: Their menu features high-quality, vegan fare like jackfruit tacos, Carolina tempeh ribs, fried artichoke po’ boys, and more. The menu covers a range of cuisine and nutrition, but because everything is made from non-meat products, every item offers less fat content than meat and more environmental sustainability!

 

Earthen Jar  

311 S 5th Ave | Facebook

Earthen Jar is a vegetarian and mostly vegan Indian buffet, as well as the first and only kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor. Everything at the hot buffet, the cold buffet and the dessert buffet is vegetarian and the majority are also vegan.

Why it’s healthy: Thanks to the all-vegetarian menu at Earthen Jar, this restaurant is healthier for the planet and for you! Next time you need a plate of savory and spicy vegetables swing by for a hearty lunch or dinner.

 

eat

1906 Packard St | Facebook

This local Ann Arbor restaurant is built on the ideals of wholesome, imaginative, and thoughtfully prepared food. That means this team cares about everything from the farmer to their neighbors and, of course, you! Though you can’t dine in at eat, you can order from the carry-out menu or get them to cater your next event.

Why it’s healthy: From their meals, sandwiches and salads to their TV Dinners and larder items, everything at eat is prepared with sustainability and whole, local foods in mind. And because meals are made from scratch, too, they cut out many processed items, preservatives and additives.

 

First Bite  

108 S Main St | Facebook

First Bite healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of First Bite

First Bite is driven by the idea of Food 4.0, which is why you’ll find the phrase featured prominently on the wall in the dining room. They believe that food must positively impact everyone involved: the producers, the customers, the First Bite team and the environment. That’s why they support local farming and sourcing from like-minded vendors and almost all of the team’s packaging is fully compostable.

Why it’s healthy: Using sustainably grown, whole foods is better for the planet, our bodies and our minds. Though the First Bite menu includes delicious, sugary items like Fluffy French Toast, it also includes an impressive burger lineup: the Beet Burger, the Southwest Black Bean Burger and the Turkey Burger made with an organic house-made turkey patty.

 

Wilma’s  

403 E Washington St | Facebook

Previously called Fred’s, Wilma’s opened in 2016 with the goal of brightening, refreshing and uplifting through food. Inside their bright and modern setting, they serve a menu of both sweet and savory toasts, acai bowls, yogurt bowls, poké bowls, grain bowls, salads, smoothies, and large items like shaved ribeye and a beetroot and quinoa burger.

Why it’s healthy: Everything on the Wilma’s menu is hearty, delicious and filled with both micro and macronutrients. For example, their Kale Shake has kale, avocado, banana, dates, cashews, agave and almond milk. Yum!

 

Fresh Forage   

5060 Jackson Rd | Facebook

Ann Arbor’s Fresh Forage fills the community’s need for both convenience and health as well as quick and locally sourced. The team’s ingredients are sourced from their own family farms and other local farms, and several are sustainably foraged from Michigan’s deep woods. Using 100% compostable materials, they prepare these meals rapidly so the busy people of Ann Arbor can fuel up on the go. 

Why it’s healthy: Using whole, local, sustainable and responsibly produced ingredients, the Fresh Forage menu gives you choices that range from sugary to savory, vegetarian to omnivorous, whole grain to meaty and everything in between.

 

Juicy Kitchen  

1506 N Maple Rd | Facebook

Using locally sourced produce, hormone-free chicken, and organic vegetables and grains as much as possible, Juicy Kitchen crafts meals from scratch in healthy, sustainable ways. While this Ann Arbor spot is an excellent option for anyone searching for healthy food, they also cater to specific allergies, gluten-free diets, and vegans and vegetarians during both breakfast and lunch.

Why it’s healthy: Scratch-made and sustainable eats at Juicy Kitchen allow for fewer preservatives and additives, and a lot more nutrients!

 

The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook

The Lunch Room healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

Often referred to simply as The Lunch Room, The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen is this team’s original location in Kerrytown. Because only plant-based foods are served here, you never have to worry about the presence of meat, dairy, eggs, honey or anything processed with animal products.

Why it’s healthy: In addition to being entirely plant-based, many of the ingredients at The Lunch Room are organic and non-GMO, and most items can be made gluten-free. Additionally, nearly everything is made from scratch—even the bread!

 

Pocai  

1232 Packard St | Facebook

Whether you’re looking for delivery, quick eats on-the-go or sit-down meals, Pocai is the place to find healthy, carvable selections. Their menu includes acai bowls, poké bowls, vegetarian Bim Bap, toasts, salads and more.

Why it’s healthy: Pocai caters to special diets including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. Additionally, their bowls are packed with micronutrients thanks to ingredients like kale, pickled red onions, acai berries, chia seeds, brown rice and more.  

 

Salads UP  

611 E Liberty St + 878 Briarwood Cir | Facebook

Salads UP healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of Mackenzie King via Salads UP

Robert and Max were seniors at the University of Michigan when they discovered their dream of creating a healthy, fast-paced restaurant that would be accessible to students, visitors and townies alike. Today, they have two locations in Ann Arbor and one in Madison, Wisconsin.

Why it’s healthy: The menu at S’UP is entirely made up of classic healthy meals like salads and wraps, warm grain bowls, fruit smoothies and even homemade juices and cold brew coffee!

 

Seva Restaurant   

2541 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Seva has been serving outstanding plant-based cuisine in Ann Arbor since 1973. Now located in Westgate on the town’s west side, Seva offers an impressive craft beer list, entirely homemade desserts, gluten-free options and dishes that will make even carnivores love vegetarian food.

Why it’s healthy: Seva offers the perfect combination of healthy and indulgent, from the fruit smoothies to the ice cream shakes and The Beyond Burger to the homemade desserts.

 

Vedge Cafe   

205 N Main St | Facebook

Owned and operated by Amanda, a Registered Dietitian and a plant-based eater since 2005, Vedge Cafe is where she gets to combine her love for cooking with her passion for educating and sharing diet alternatives. Amanda and her team offer a menu of scratch-made vegan food like Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos, The Vedge Stromboli with house-made dough and pepperoni seitan, Reubens and more.

Why it’s healthy: In August 2018, Vedge Cafe made the move from vegan and vegetarian to all vegan which improved sustainability and created even more innovative plant-based dishes like the Vedge Stromboli!

 

Do you have a go-to spot in the Ann Arbor area?

In the comments below, tell us about your favorite places to dine out for healthy foods in Ann Arbor and in our surrounding communities.

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The 15 Best Gyms in the Ann Arbor Area

CrossFit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Whether it’s the beginning of a new year or the middle of the year, beginning a new fitness practice is always a good idea. Doing so can energize your current program, help you reach your health goals, introduce you to a new community and so much more.

We rounded up a selection of the Ann Arbor area’s best facilities that have programs, equipment, trainers, classes and education opportunities suitable for newbies and old pros alike. Keep reading to find your perfect fit!

 

Jump ahead to find Ann Arbor’s best:

Fitness center | CrossFit box | Group training + coaching

 

 

Fitness centers

Fitness centers Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

Ann Arbor YMCA

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

The Ann Arbor YMCA offers a six-lane, 25-yard pool for lap swim, a zero-depth entry family pool, an indoor track, locker rooms, and an 8,200-square-foot fitness floor complete with cardio equipment, a fully-equipped free weight area, lifting machines, stretching areas and more. Your membership can grant you daily access as well as fitness classes, introductory programs, childcare, volunteer opportunities and more.

 

Crunch Fitness 

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Crunch gyms can be found in locations throughout the country offering fun group fitness classes, weight lifting equipment, cardio machines, professional personal trainers and so much more. And their defining characteristic is their focus on judgment-free encouragement and inclusivity. Ann Arbor’s Crunch facility was once Arbor Fit Club and, as the gym makes its transition, Crunch will keep the smiling faces, experienced trainers, and hometown atmosphere we love while adding extra bonuses like new equipment and improved facilities.

 

Chelsea Wellness Center 

Located in Chelsea | Facebook

Chelsea Wellness Center is a community facility perfectly suited to help meet every fitness and health goal. Their services include medical fitness programs, group exercise classes, personal training, massage therapy, Pilates and aquatics programs, nutrition counseling, childcare, wellness coaching and a café where you can get healthy snacks and beverages.

 

The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

In addition to offering a state-of-the-art fitness facility, The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College offers services like personal training, fitness assessments, childcare, nutrition counseling, group fitness classes and more. And access isn’t limited to college students!

 

Powerhouse Gym

Locations in Ypsilanti, Saline, South Lyon, Novi and more | Facebook

Powerhouse Gym originally opened in Highland Park, Michigan in 1974. Today, the health club chain has locations all over the world, including several in the Ann Arbor area. Here, you can find facilities in Ypsilanti, Saline, South Lyon and Novi, and each one offers the motivating Powerhouse atmosphere and premier exercise equipment.

 

 

CrossFit boxes

CrossFit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

734 Strength & Performance

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

734 Strength and Fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of 734 Strength & Performance

734 is Ypsilanti’s original CrossFit gym. Their 4,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to functional fitness which means their equipment focuses on pushing, pulling, jumping, lifting, climbing, throwing and every other exercise the human body is innately capable of performing. To learn more about their state-of-the-art facility and their coaches, check out the website here.

 

CrossFit TreeTown

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

CrossFit TreeTown is the only CrossFit affiliate on the north side of Ann Arbor and is dedicated to making CrossFit an approachable and successful practice for everyone regardless of experience or fitness level. And their programs aren’t limited to traditional CrossFit! They also offer Goal Oriented Aerobic Training, a weightlifting club and yoga classes.

 

CrossFit Ypsilanti

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

CrossFit Ypsilanti is a tight-knit community of fitness lovers, health nuts and trainers. To foster their atmosphere of community and strength, each fitness class is limited to 15 people to ensure you can get individual attention and support. Programs in CrossFit, kettlebell, Olympic lifting and nutrition are all available.

 

Joust Strength + Fitness

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Joust fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of A Girl in Love Photography via Joust Strength + Fitness

Ann Arbor’s Joust Strength + Fitness exists to help you achieve all of your strength-training goals, find the perfect fitness program, learn proper nutrition, and create a diverse community of fitness enthusiasts. In their CrossFit training facility, they also offer kettlebells, yoga, gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting and nutrition services with the on-site RD.

 

Wolverine Strength and Conditioning

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Wolverine is one of the largest and cleanest CrossFit gyms in Ann Arbor. Their huge, open facility covers 6,000 square feet of air-conditioned and heated indoor space as well as programs for newbies, old pros, competitors, weightlifters and more. Because they’re so community focused, they also host events and potlucks for members!

 

 

Group training + coaching

Group fitness classes Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

Applied Fitness Solutions

Locations in Ann Arbor, Plymouth and Rochester Hills | Facebook

Applied Fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of Applied Fitness Solutions

Applied Fitness Solutions offers a unique program of fitness training and amenities that combines personal fitness coaching with fun group workouts. Their service includes check-ins with your coach outside of the gym, online tools, fitness assessments and more. To learn more about how their team is different, check out the website here.

 

Blue Lion Fitness

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Blue Lion Fitness is a team of experts and a community of people all striving to reach and support their health and fitness goals. Their program is centered around unique, one-hour classes which include elements of high-intensity interval training, division I strength and conditioning, core strength training, suspension training and plyometric training. To see the class calendar which offers options every day of the week, check out the website here.

 

Imagine Fitness & Yoga

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Imagine Fitness Yoga Ann Arbor Michigan gyms

Photo courtesy of Imagine Fitness & Yoga

Imagine is a unique fitness center, gym and yoga studio all rolled into one. Their tailored health and wellness programs offer personalized support and treatment for group training in cycling, weightlifting, circuit training, various styles and levels of yoga, Pilates and more. As an added bonus, they also have heated floors in their studio rooms! 

 

Wildly Fit

Locations in Ann Arbor and Brighton | Facebook

Wildly Fit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of Jon Crays at ICON Interactive via Wildly Fit

Founded in 2012, Wildly Fit has grown into a center for growth, learning and recovery through their fitness center and two Movement Lab locations. Together, these facilities offer physical therapy, recovery programs, corrective fitness, massage therapy, personal training, group fitness, private classes and more. These services can help members manage chronic illness, improve athletic performance and reduce everyday discomforts.

 

Ypsi Studio

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

Located in the heart of downtown Ypsilanti, this boutique studio offers group exercise classes, personal training, indoor cycling, yoga, Pilates, nutrition coaching, Zumba and more. And classes are always limited to 15 people to ensure personalized attention and support. Each week, Ypsi Studio offers more than 25 group exercise classes and you can see the schedule here.

 

 

Do you have a favorite?  

If you want to recommend a local gym, let us know in the comments below!

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16 Birthday Party Ideas in the Ann Arbor Area that are Better than Dinner and Drinks

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

If you’ve been in Ann Arbor long, the following sentence probably won’t surprise you. Our hometown is loaded with amazing local food and impressive craft beer. So, when you’re looking for a place to celebrate your birthday, dinner and drinks is always a good option. But if you’ve been there, done that, we’re happy to tell you it’s not your only option.

When you’re looking for something more out of the box, you’ll find plenty of escape rooms, classes, tastings, tours, businesses and venues that can help you have an amazing birthday. We rounded up those experiences in one place and included everything from last-minute options to huge, memorable experiences. There are enough things on this list for your next 16 birthdays!

Looking for kid-friendly ideas? Check out 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor for inspiration.

 

 

Escape at Decode.

As Michigan’s top escape game, Decode offers some of the most interesting and complex escape rooms in the state—and they have facilities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit! In Ann Arbor, their facility offers a three-part adventure called Minerva’s Trilogy. The story is about Minerva, an adolescent Artificial Intelligence machine with lofty goals. The Minerva Project and Minerva’s Return are the first and last parts, both one-hour escape rooms. And the second part, Minerva’s Escape, is a free puzzle hunt through downtown Ann Arbor.

 

Take a tour with By the Sidewalk Food Tours.

Birthday things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Founded right here in Ann Arbor and inspired by our hometown neighborhoods, chefs, businesses and history, By the Sidewalk Food Tours explores all of that and more. The Classic Ann Arbor By The Sidewalk tour is a three hour, guided walking tour through downtown Ann Arbor and Kerrytown that pairs food tastings with history, art, architecture and local stories.

 

Play (and eat) at Revel & Roll.

Revel & Roll offers 27 lanes of bowling, as well as billiards tables, an arcade with nearly 100 different games, shuffleboard, more televisions than anyone in the country, and chef-inspired dining options in case you work up a hunger.

 

Tour Michigan Stadium.  

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States and the second largest stadium in the world. Though the official capacity is 107,601, its record attendance is ‎115,109, which broke a record on September 7, 2013. Superfans can tour The Big House at just $20 per person and see the field, the game-day locker room, the press box and more. Other tour options offer an inside looks at the Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena, too! To learn about all of them, click here.  

 

Take a class with White Lotus Farms.

White Lotus Farms is an Ann Arbor institution, specializing in organic produce, homemade breads, artisan goat and cow’s milk cheeses, and soothing botanicals. Their varied experience and knowledge on the farm, in the bakery, in the creamery and with botanicals makes their classes some of the most fun in the region. Topics include cheese making, croissant baking, food pairing and more. To see the schedule, click here.

 

Laugh at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.

Originally opened in 1984, this comedy headquarters offers a lineup of up-and-coming stand-up stars, as well as nationally touring acts. The 18+ venue has hosted Tim Allen, Drew Carey and Ellen DeGeneres in the past, and has a calendar full of events every single weekend! You can see that calendar here.

 

Practice art at Ann Arbor Art Center.

Ann Arbor Art Center things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition. They do this through rotating exhibitions in the 117 Gallery, special events, and an impressive lineup of classes and workshops. Topics include everything from drawing and painting to metalsmithing and wheel throwing in the Ceramics Studio. To see the class schedule, click here.

 

Get behind the scenes at Bløm Meadworks.

Bløm (pronounced bloom) is a hyper-local meadery located in the heart of Ann Arbor. Unlike many other meaderies and cideries, every ingredient is sourced from Michigan and their mead is fermented like a dry craft cider so it’s not as thick or as sweet as other meads you may have tried.

Want to learn even more? Their event calendar includes things like board game night, yoga in the taproom and monthly tours of Bløm. For $10 on the first Saturday for every month, you can take a tour of the meadworks that explores the Bløm story, the name, the crafting process and more. You can get more information on the event page here.

 

Build a personalized tour with Savor Ann Arbor.

Founder and Owner Marcie fell in love with Ann Arbor through its food, attended the University of Michigan, and has lived here ever since—always learning and trying new restaurants, meals and cuisines along the way. Her customizable tours offered through Savor Ann Arbor explore our town’s history, architecture, shops and food in fascinating ways. You can start with a template like Mixology, Chocolate Heaven, Arts & Architecture, or you can customize your experience from the ground up.

 

See a show at Dreamland Theater.

Dreamland Theater is unlike any other theater in Michigan. This small, non-profit puppet theater and community space is located in downtown Ypsilanti and offers classes and performances in puppetry, theater, music, independent film and other arts. To find out what’s going on right now at Dreamland, check out their Facebook page here.

 

Learn to cook with Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

Birthday things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

When you sign up for a baking or cooking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, you’ll get an insight into their delicious breads, pastries, cookies, cakes and more! The class schedule includes pizza, doughnuts, French baguettes, soups, brownies and so much more. The best part is Zingerman’s takes care of all the cleanup and you get to take home your leftovers. Check out the class schedule here.

 

Visit Yankee Air Museum.

Yankee Air Museum is an aviation, aerospace and science museum located at Willow Run Airport just a few minutes outside of Ypsilanti. Exhibits offer hands-on experiences and insights into World War I and World War II, Willow Run and Rosie the Riveter, The Vietnam War, aircraft restoration and so much more.

 

Improvise at Pointless Brewery & Theatre.

If you like your craft beer served with improv comedy, then Pointless Brewery & Theatre is the perfect place to celebrate your birthday. In the taproom, you can taste beers brewed on-site and enjoy frequent events like league shows, improv games, showcases and more. And if you want to learn the ropes, check out Pointless School of Improv for information on classes. To see the theatre and improv show schedule, click here.

 

See a show at Purple Rose Theatre Company.

Located in Chelsea, The Purple Rose was founded in 1991 by Chelsea native and critically-acclaimed actor, Jeff Daniels. The building that houses the company’s Garage Theatre was once a used car and bus garage owned by Daniels’ grandfather. Now, the facility has developed into one of the best places for theatre production in the state. Click here to see the schedule of current and upcoming shows.

 

Enjoy a tasting at Wines on Main.

Wines on Main things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Wines on Main

Wines on Main is a cozy fine wine shop in downtown Chelsea. Their team of experts offers learning experiences and tastings from their collection of boutique wines, which are sourced from the finest regional, local and global wine cellars. You’re invited to come by for daily wine tastings, monthly educational classes, wine flights and more.

 

Play at Pinball Pete’s.

Pinball Pete’s opened its doors more than 30 years ago and has since become the Ann Arbor destination for arcade fun. You can spend your quarters along the entire wall of pinball machines, play video games, and challenge your friends to a game of pool or air hockey.

 

Happy birthday!

If you have an interesting party suggestion, tell us about it in the comments below.  

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